A Windscreen Chip: What’s The Damage?

We all know that one of the most important and expensive parts of a car is the actual windscreen itself. It protects and shields the driver and passengers from all sorts of dangerous objects, and it plays a direct role in driving safety. But when it is damaged or destroyed, there is a whole lot of stress to follow. However, it’s important to know what will happen next. Obviously, a shattered windscreen needs replacing. But what about one that is cracked or chipped?

A chip in the windscreen

If you have been driving your car for a while, you will know that sometimes a piece of stone or gravel may well fly up and hit the windscreen, especially if you drive on the motorways. It isn’t the end of the world, and there is usually a simple solution that will deal with the chip.

However, what some motorists don’t know is that a simple chip can quite easily turn into a large crack that could eventually cause major damage to the screen. This is because the car may hit a speed bump or get caught by a pothole. If this happens, the vibration to the vehicle could cause that chip to grow.

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That small chip can grow into a broken screen, so it needs dealing with. But what’s important also is where the chip located. For example, if a chip is too close to the edge of the windscreen, it will mean that a full replacement screen is required. If the chip is less than 3cm from the edge, you will need a brand-new windscreen.

Perhaps most importantly (and this is a point that many drivers are unaware of), if the chip in the windscreen is directly in the line of sight of the driver, there could well be a need to have the screen immediately replaced. The ‘line of sight’ chip cannot be bigger than 10mm. The line of sight is the point in a windscreen that is 30cm directly in front of (or ‘in line with’) the driver’s eyesight. If that chip is bigger than 10mm, it is time to buy a new windscreen.

Get a specialist to help

It is absolutely essential that drivers have any chip treated by a specialist, no matter where it is on the screen. It is against the law to drive with a chip or damage that hasn’t been looked at by a specialist and treated. 

If, after having the damaged screen looked at, a specialist says you need to get a new windscreen, this is what you must do. There are numerous places where you can get a new screen (including the original manufacturer of the vehicle), including a breaker’s yard. For example, if you needed a new Ford windscreen, you can easily contact a breaker’s yard to see if they have one ready.

Always have a damaged screen checked, and if you need to have one replaced, do so immediately.